NO ONE saw it coming. And indeed it turned out to be the surprise of the night as Urban Boys failed to make the list of the 10 finalists for this year’s GumaGuma Superstar music competition.
The 2013 PGGSS runners-up performed with confidence but the judges and the audience didn’t warm up to their performance. As it turned out, the trio did not impress the judges and they didn’t equally get much applause from the audience after performing. 15 artistes battled it out for a place in the top 10.
It could have been a costly decision for the Urban Boys to choose a song that did not excite the crowd when they could have picked a more interesting one-and they paid a heavy price for that.
There were murmurs in the crowd as it dawned on many that the ‘swag boys’ would not make it. After nine contestants had been unveiled, Urban Boys and Jay Polly were still among those who awaited their fate.
Of course Jay Polly was the favourite choice, having pulled off a crystal clear performance of Deux-fois-Deux, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd. Urban Boys would later learn their fate and it was a painful one. They had not made the mark as underdogs and first-timers in the competition made it.
Urban Boys’ performance of Ancilla was not the most exciting. Maybe Kelele or Kubita could have impressed but not a song whose video was recently banned.
Urban Boys joined Kamichi, Uncle Austin, Edouce and Paccy, whose failure to progress shocked many. Amidst boos, Diane Teta pulled through the top ten along with Young Grace, taking the two nods for female singers, which technically meant that Paccy could not make it.
To her credit, Teta knew where her strength was-vocals and the judge’s panel which was made up of Aimable Twahirwa, Lion Imanzi and Clémentine ‘Tonzi’ Uwitonze, did not differ.
The svelte beauty, who at one time represented Rwanda in the Tusker Project Fame, performed her remix of Fata Fata, clad in a shimmering long dress.
Also to make it through against all odds was Jules Sentore, who performed Udatsikira and evidently nailed it. Both Sentore and Teta have mastered live performances through their mother group Gakondo.
Others whose progress was almost assured included Bruce Melodie who did Njyewe Ndumiwe. His progress was expected even though it was his first time.
Christopher, who made his debut last year, also progressed for the second time after performing Ndabyemeye.
Another surprise act was Amag G the Black who made it through after performing Uruhinja. The tough talking rapper will most likely be the underdog to watch given his popularity among audiences.
Dream Boys, who were elegant on the night, had their place almost assured while Eric Senderi ‘International Hit’ merited his place with an electric performance of Jalousie.
Active were the surprise act of the night after nailing an exhilarating Uzansaza performance. Where the vocals failed them, they made up with impressive dance moves.
According to Judge Twahirwa who led the panel, the message was in black and white from the word go.
“We are looking for entertainers, talent in terms of vocals and crowd pullers. How the crowd responds matters a lot and your vocal abilities count too. How each one of you will own this stage is very important,” Twahirwa warned before the performances.
Indeed what Active did was to entertain and the judges loved it. In the end, entertainers who were able to send the crowd into screams and shrills took the day.
It was a night of disappointments for many but the judges’ decision was final. The 10 finalists will battle it out come May 3 when the road shows kick off. The grand finale will be on August 9 when the winner for the Rwf24m will be announced.
1. Young Grace
3. Senderi International Hit
4. Jules Sentore
5. Dream Boyz
6. Diana Teta
7. Bruce Melody
9. Ama G The Black
10. Jay Polly